Future Group to be sole Indian retailer for Lee Cooper from 2019-20

With the addition of the footwear licence, Lee Cooper will become the largest fashion brand for Future Group in FY19. Kishore Biyani’s Future Group will be the sole Indian retailer for Lee Cooper apparel and footwear starting 2019-20, a top company executive said.

Currently, Biyani’s Future Specialty Retail Ltd sells Lee Cooper apparel while M&B Footwear (P) Ltd sells Lee Cooper footwear, both under licence from Iconix Brand Group Inc. of US.

Future Specialty Retail is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Future Lifestyle Fashions. M&B has been selling Lee Cooper footwear in India for the last 18 years.

“We have been able to grow our Lee Cooper apparel business at a higher clip than the footwear partner,” said Rakesh Biyani, non-executive director, Future Lifestyle who aims to double the overall brands business in the next three years.

According to Biyani, Lee Cooper’s 12-year-old apparel business had a turnover Rs370 crore in FY18. The footwear vertical ended the financial with a revenue of Rs240 crore.

M&B Footwear promoter Inder Dev S. Musafir declined to comment. His company has a 12-month window till 31 March to exhaust inventory, after which Future Lifestyle will take over the brand’s operations in India, said Biyani.

Future Specialty will work on developing the merchandise in the coming year. This includes expansion of the footwear range which was primarily catering to men, women and kids. “The idea is to have a complete package for men, women, and kids,” said Biyani, who is looking at single-brand and flagship stores in select cities.

“The journey for retailers is to build a portfolio of known brands. Retailers are also expanding into allied segments to become a lifestyle and accessories brand catering to the entire family,” said Anil Talreja, partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt Ltd.

With the addition of the footwear licence, Lee Cooper will become the largest fashion brand for Future Group in FY19.

Currently, DJ&C, an in-house brand from FBB is currently the largest with revenue of Rs1,300 crore at retail value. Lee Cooper’s combined revenues across footwear and apparel at retail value for FY18 was Rs1,100 crore, said Biyani.

Retail value is the value at which goods are sold to the consumer and take into account discounts and markdown in prices.

Future Lifestyle markets international and domestic brands such as Lee Cooper, Converse, Indigo Nation, Scullers, Daniel Hechter, Giovanni, Urbana, John Miller, Jealous 21 and aLL.

However, Future Group, the parent’s fashion business also includes FBB, part of Future Retail Ltd. Across fashion, the group has 600 stores spread across chains like Central, Brand Factory and dedicated brand stores with revenues in excess of Rs11,000 crore in FY18, said Biyani.
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